Today we are marking Carers Rights Day.
The national awareness day aims to ensure carers are aware of their rights and know where they can access help and support, as well as helping to highlight to the wider public the needs of carers.
In May 2020 Fosters Solicitors were proud to announce they had become the first Norfolk company to receive the 'Carer Friendly Tick Award - Employer' in recognition of their support for colleagues who are family carers.
It is estimated that in the UK today 6.5 million people are unpaid carers, helping to support loved ones who might be older, disabled or seriously ill. Our partners Caring Together highlight that three in five of us will be responsible for caring for someone in our lifetimes.
For this reason it is vital that carers know how to access the support they can receive and their rights - therefore today, 26th November, we will be joining in to help raise awareness.
At Fosters our accreditation of the Carer Friendly Tick Award was partly due to our specific carers and flexible working policy, which aims to provide an internal support network across our branches and enables staff to request either short or long-term changes to contracted hours, helping them to balance their commitments.
Head of Staff Care at Fosters, Heather Brown commented: "We understand that carers have to balance huge home responsibilities whilst trying to achieve a good career and we wanted to look at ways we could help support our staff who found themselves in this position. We understood that sometimes things change very quickly and sometimes without any warning as well, and you can find yourself suddenly in the position of being a carer, and the impact this will have on somebody's life.
"We already had a flexible working policy in place for all staff at Fosters. But we wanted to look at this further, to see whether it fully supported those with caring responsibilities and to see if there was anything more that we could do to help those staff who were carers."
Kerry Read, a Trainee Solicitor at Fosters and carer herself, added: "The Carers project at Fosters has been a fantastic opportunity to be involved in. It has helped staff come together in their responsibilities and also raised awareness about how important it is to communicate with your employer in the event you are required to care for somebody. Fosters offer a wide range of support for carers and actively encourage open conversation around the subject."
For further information about carer rights and accessing support services please visit the website of Caring Together - a network partner of Carers Trust, who provide help for carers and their families across the eastern counties, including Norfolk.